Hello and welcome to my Message of the Month.
This month we feature a very unusual story in our Q&A feature. We feature someone who has been to a Club Mahindra resort almost every year, for the last ten years – not as a first level customer, but as a family member coming in as a guest. For all practical purposes he is a regular “consumer” of a fast-evolving timeshare marketplace.
Looking closer at the narrative, it certainly makes you think.
It can make you think about consumer profiles in a rather different way. It’s not just our primary customers who have something to share in terms of a first-hand experience of the merits and benefits of timeshare. Their guests and other family members are equally qualified to share opinions, feedback and tell stories about the wonderful time they had at the resort. (They will also have photos and videos to take back as memories, and to showcase all the good times.)
In a way I would place guests in the same basket as our primary customers - because they could hold or project the same degree of conviction and user satisfaction when it comes to first hand experiences and product offerings.
At another level, I feel member guests could also be influencers for the timeshare industry with feedback on a wide range of touch points. Right from facilities and food, to quality of service and other key aspects that come into play on a vacation.
In a way I can draw a parallel here to the sampling exercise marketing teams do to offer trials and product experience to a new set of customers. In our case the sampling happens in a very interesting way - our primary customers bring guests (and prospective customers) to the resort.
They actually bring in newer people all the time, and help widen the circle of user experience. (I wonder if there’s some way we can thank them for this effort.)
Guests of members have the same dreams, they have the same aspirations, and they seem to be enjoy taking time off from work for that annual vacation that all of us look forward to.
So what’s the takeaway in this story?
Our active database of users gets the benefit of a multiplier effect all the time– especially on group bookings. I am assuming here that an extra family of guests will mean five more people coming in.
Resorts operating on the mixed-use model have an extended advantage in terms of exposure. An open door guest (a walk-in customer) does get to experience the same setting, the same food, the same facilities as one of their timeshare customers. The comparative benefits are there for him to see, every single day he spends at the resort.
I have also learnt an interesting lesson in this interaction. You have your customers, and you have guests – the people in the inner circle of your customer’s network – and they can be just as important and relevant.
And these are people you can reach out to, for more than one reason. And luckily, they are within touching distance.
What’s better than that?
B. S. Rathor
Advisor & Member - Executive Committee
What does an AIRDA membership mean to resort owners and developers? AIRDA comes in as your industry partner, conscience keeper and business catalyst - with a wide portfolio of support services.
What does AIRDA mean to holiday seekers and prospective customers? AIRDA comes in to provide information and offer guidelines on making the right timeshare decisions.